Accomplishments of first half of 2016

2016-First_half-smallb.pngCJPME has had a stellar start to 2016, with some amazing accomplishments so far. Since we’re almost halfway through 2016, we wanted to give you an overview of our successes so far. Please take a look at the summary of our activities below.

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CJPME meets repeatedly with MPs on Parliament Hill. CJPME delegates have been on Parliament Hill again and again since the beginning of the year. Already, we have met with close to 70 MPs in one-on-one meetings since the beginning of the year. We developed position papers, and have been advocating for better government positions on several different topics, including:

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CJPME delegates on Parliament Hill to meet with MPs. CJPME has hosted delegations to Parliament Hill on five different occasions since January, meeting over 70 different MPs in one-on-one meetings. 

CJPME sponsors seven Syrian refugees to Canada. Unable to stand by idly as the Syrian civil war grinds on, CJPME raised funds and began co-sponsoring Syrian refugees to come to Canada. Seven families have been approved so far in 2016, and CJPME eagerly anticipates the arrival of these families. Dozens of Canadians joined in with CJPME’s efforts, and contributed to CJPME’s Syrian Refugee Fund. Click here for more info.

CJPME has also been meeting with politicians to positively influence Canadian policy on Syrian refugees. We've appealed to dozens of MPs for greater numbers of Syrian refugees, and greater government funding for sponsorships.

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CJPME’s BDS Sticky Note campaign has been extremely successful. CJPME has distributed 1200 BDS Sticky Note pads, and has had Canadians from across the country participating.

Media Advocacy Centre and Work. After several months of development, CJPME launched its new “Media Centre” platform earlier this month. The platform allows for the collection of “problem” media articles. It also allows for the issuing of “media alerts” to push mainstream media to provide better coverage in the Middle East, especially Israel-Palestine. Just last week, a strong response through our Media Centre pushed the CBC to strengthen its coverage of the attack in Tel Aviv. If you want to be involved, sign up to be a “Media Responder” here.

BDS Sticky Notes Campaign. In response to Parliament’s offensive and ridiculous “condemnation” of BDS activists, CJPME launched its “BDS Sticky Notes” in late February. To date, CJPME has given away over 1000 sticky note pads to Canadians across the country, and Canadians have been active. From St. John’s New Foundland, to Vancouver Island, Canadians have been putting our BDS Sticky Notes on Israeli-sourced products across the country. CJPME’s campaign got international coverage, and pro-Israel groups seeking to counter the success of the campaign. Sign up here to get your free pad of BDS Sticky Notes if you haven’t already received one. 

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CJPME successfully co-sponsored seven Syrian refugee families since the beginning of the year, and is now waiting for the families to arrive. Click here to donate or get involved.

Successful Advocacy Campaigns supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. CJPME was busy this past Winter and Spring countering BDS legislation in Canada.

  • Discrediting the Parliamentary motion condemning BDS activists. With its “Go ahead, make my day, condemn me!” campaign, CJPME demonstrated the absurdity of the Parliament’s February motion. CJPME also launched an email action alert targeting MPs, and sent several letters to all MPs explaining the logic of the movement.

  • Opposing the Ontario bill targeting BDS supporters. CJPME sent a letter to all Ontario MPPs pressuring them to respect the rights of Ontarians to support BDS. CJPME got a response from Premier Wynne and several other MPPs, and is working hard to prevent the passage of any Ontario bills against BDS.

CJPME speaking tour with Dr. Norm Finkelstein stimulates debate on Israel-Palestine. CJPME was pleased to host Dr. Norman Finkelstein in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal in March. Finkelstein’s talk was entitled, “Gaza: Israel’s Method and Madness,” where he addressed Israel’s post-Oslo strategies against the Palestinians. Dr. Finkelstein is perhaps the most significant scholar of the Palestine-Israel conflict, with several insightful and sensational books on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

CJPME supports UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees. CJPME launched a successful campaign supporting the reinstatement of Canadian funding for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. Through this campaign, thousands of Canadians emailed the Minister of International Development and their own MPs. In addition, CJPME sponsored a letter signed by over twenty Canadian organizations – including some of Quebec’s biggest unions – supporting Palestinian refugees.

CJPME highlights contradictions of Saudi Arms Deal. CJPME was one of several Canadian groups which got excellent media attention for questioning the Trudeau government’s decision to go ahead with the $15 billion Saudi arms contract for Light Armoured Vehicles. CJPME signed a joint letter with Amnesty International and other organizations calling the government to rethink its actions. CJPME also met with dozens of MPs challenging this decision, and admonishing the government for delaying signing the Arms Trade Treaty.

CJPME speaks out authoritatively on important, timely issues: CJPME has issued PRs and Position Papers on key issues since the beginning of the year. Some of the highlights are below:

  • CJPME defends the rights of Canadians to support BDS. CJPME issued multiple press statements critiquing the Federal and Ontario government on their actions vis-à-vis BDS. CJPME also issued a position paper recommending an approach to BDS for our elected representatives – a paper which was presented and explained in person to dozens of MPs.

  • CJPME calls loudly for renewed funding for UNRWA. Via its public campaigns, and a position paper on Canada and the Palestinians, CJPME pushed for a renewal of Canadian funding for UNRWA. CJPME’s position paper was presented and explained one-on-one to dozens of parliamentarians.

  • CJPME highlights abuses taking place in Israel. While Israel’s violation of Palestinians’ rights is ongoing, certain abuses warrant special attention. When Israel tried to censure Palestinian-Israeli MKs, CJPME called this out to our own MPs and media. CJPME highlights the ongoing abuses via its social media channels on a daily basis.

  • CJPME supports freedom of expression on Canadian campuses. CJPME has spoken out several times in support of student movements supporting Palestinian human rights. CJPME has also reached out to help university administrators who work to maintain freedom of expression on Canadian campuses.

CJPME publishes factsheets on important topics: Since the beginning of the year, CJPME has published timely factsheets for Canadian audiences.

  • The BDS MovementWe answer the questions: What motivates the BDS movement? Why is Israel targeted? Is BDS anti-Israel? Has BDS had successes in Canada? And others.

  • Parliament’s anti-BDS Motion. We answer the questions: Is BDS anti-Semitic? Does BDS seek to “destroy” Israel? And others.

  • Canada’s $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. We answer the questions: What is Saudi Arabia’s human rights record? Does Canada fear upsetting relations with Saudi Arabia? Can sanctions improve human rights in Saudi Arabia? Should Canada answer its arms contract with Saudi Arabia?

  • Ayman Odeh: Rising Palestinian Leader. In advance of Odeh’s visit to Canada, CJPME answered the questions: Who is Ayman Odeh, and what are his strengths? Why is Odeh a symbol of hope to Palestinians? What are the criticisms of Odeh?

  • Canada and the International Arms Trade Treaty. We answer the questions: What is the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)? How is the ATT different from Canada’s existing export controls? Why should Canada sign the ATT?

  • BDS: Disinformation and Ontario’s Bill 202. Following Ontario’s dreadful anti-BDS bill, CJPME answered the following questions: Was Ontario Bill 202 constitutional? What are the objectives of the BDS movement? Does BDS target Jews? What other disinformation was spread by Bill 202?

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The CJPME team has worked hard for values and principles that we all hold dear, both for Canada and in the Middle East.  While we do as much as we can, we depend on your ongoing support for the continuance of our work.  

Please consider making a donation, or renewing your donation to enable CJPME to continue its vital work. 

 

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